Also, we have one batch of swamp milkweed Ina large pot. They were a good size but disappeared a few days after I spotted them. I know the danger comes from the sap but still…? If I can get a bunch do you want some, Hi Karen, I typically plant seeds in Minnesota toward the end of October or even early November…just make sure you do it before the first snowstorm! You can still separate the fluff indoors without making a mess…. Hi, I’m in north Florida, and this is my first summer growing milkweed and monarch caterpillars. The pods are about 4-5 inches long. Hi Lorri, if your plants didn’t flower this season, they won’t produce seeds. The milkweed flower is pink to purple to orange and blooms from June to Au… I collect monarch eggs to grow and release and have large flower gardens, so have plenty of butterfly’s but need the milkweed. I kept them, after separating the fluff, in our freezer. Leave the seeds in a bowl until they are thoroughly dry. There were probably 25 other seeds including black eyed Susans, goldenrod. Hi Diane, Monarch Watch has a milkweed seed program. I assume they were predated by something, but they may have been big enough to start pupating though I saw evidence of such. The vine’s stems are still green but no sap is running. Stems become hollow and hairy as the plant matures. I was collecting milkweed pods in a field and I came across a pod that I did not recognize. How should the seeds be stored until I plant them? Please click here for more information. Note that none of the other A. tuberosas I planted were flowering when this particular plant was flowering and I don’t think I’ve ever seen A. tuberosa growing wild in my immediate area. They especially need northern varieties of seeds. They flowered for a week or two, then stopped. I went to goggle, found your website, and am now a monarch rescuer devotee. Hi Diana, there’s no need to do this now unless lows will be 32° F or less. It is found in the western half of the US and up into Canada. You never know what will pop up! The seeds need the cold period of winter in order to germinate in the spring. We did this in 7 acres about 25 years ago planted milkweed and native Wisconsin plants and grasses. Do you know where I could buy mesh bags to protect my seed pods while they are forming and growing?? My first try at planting milkweed seed. Here’s the thing, the State comes thru and cuts down established plants on the side of the road. I got allot but some clearly are not ready and splitting open…… So now what? As for cutting back plants, if you are in region where milkweed doesn’t die back over winter, plants should be cut back to between 6-12″ at least once a year to promote healthy new growth without OE spores. These milkweed flower buds are wonderful in stir-fries, soups, rice casseroles, and many other dishes. Hi Chris, thanks for the reminder about donating extra seeds. yes Nancy, the seeds will blow all over the place, but you can always put organza bags over the pods before they burst or cut off the pods prematurely. I go rid of all grasses and saplings that we’re present in this plot. Happy Harvesting! The pod should be drying out and beginning to split. Other wise I have just the tropical variety. If you store them in plastic bags, make sure they are completely dry before putting them in to avoid mold. Hi Sammy, congrats on all your new milkweed! We have mostly been having sun, but some clouds will come this week. In other words, no new seeding is needed, right? Saw post about raising monarchs indoors, if I pulled it off, what wold I feed them. We don’t grow many ferns, so maybe someone else can chime in with their experience…, When do the Monarchs come around this time and how do you know when to Collect the seeds from the milkweed plant. Should I replant them in the ground now, wait until Spring, or just leave them in the tub and they’ll be fine? Would like to know if there is any special tasks needed to ensure good plant growth. Here’s one to consider: Hi, I have probably 15 pods on the few plants that popped up at our new home. Buffalo Style Milkweed Pods, Flower Cordial, Wild Rice, Stuffed Milkweed Pods. What are my best options for making sure the seeds will be good for planting in the spring? I have 5 varieties of milkweed. Oh, and I have one more question. I normally cut or dig out and burn. ; Swamp Milkweed, as its name implies, will do best in a moist environment, making it great for wet meadows or rain gardens. Each bag is marked by milkweed species and the year they were harvested. Thank you for the advice. Meanwhile, immature seeds are lighter with colors like white, yellow, and pale green. Could I put them in the fridge and then start them in containers next spring or should I toss the pods and try it again next fall? It did not bloom, but is tall and has pretty foliage. Hi Laura, I separate the seeds from the fluff right after harvesting. Harvest Milkweed Seeds without the Fluff Part 3 (Your Fired!). How long will it take for my seeds to become useful to the Monarchs? north-east United States (zones 4-7), but do grow elsewhere. Next week it will probably be colder. Ty!! Check this group for swallowtail specific info: We planted swamp milkweed last spring with pre-schoolers . I now have problems doing the same with milkweed I find in ditches and fields I found several varietys but no luck … I planted some butterfly weed seed a few weeks ago but I did not refrigerate the seed . I have no idea what variety they are but the seeds look mature …brown with white fluff. That is good for the mob of monarchs. The flower buds first appear in early summer and can be harvested for about seven weeks. Can the seeds just be scattered or does the soil need to be prepared in any way? In-depth wild edible PDFs. I bought some tropical milkweed in the spring just for the looks of it collected seeds and propagate some which was easy . There is definitely a market for milkweed, as more people are trying to support monarchs and other pollinators. Milkweed is an herbaceous, tall perennial that got its name for its milky sap that contains latex, alkaloids and other compounds. Hi Pamela, the fluff makes a mess..it’s easier to store the seeds if you separate. But if you haven’t mastered the art of defluffing your seeds things can get a little messy. Do people have better luck winter sowing outdoors in plastic containers or starting the seed indoors? If you took the stalk and placed it in water with pods attached that were close to maturity, that might work…or stick the stem part emerging from the pod into a floral tube. Can you leave a section of milkweed for the Monarch? After you cut them, you may want to leave the plant stems some place that is accessible to birds so they can use the fibers for nesting material. Are these seeds viable or were they harvested too soon? Thanks so much Tony for all the information you share, your site is a wealth of answers for me. The plant was about 4 feet tall and the pods were slender and smooth. Otherwise, facebook groups are the best place to give or trade milkweed seeds. The seeds naturally spread by water, so no fluff required. When all of my common Milkweeds are done, Hairy Balls Milkweed is going gangbusters into October and ending with our first hard frost. I have a compost bag full of fluff and seeds. I just started with Monarch’s this season and I’ve raised 30 and released all but 6….I live on 32 acres in MD and have space for a GOOD milk weed garden…. hi Bob, the seeds won’t develop further after a freeze, but seeds that were fully developed will receive a natural cold moist stratification outdoors and some should germinate next spring. About the germination rate of the burned-fluff seeds: http://prairieecologist.com/2012/04/12/testing-assumptions-the-milkweed-seed-fiasco/, I picked several pods last fall and put them in a plastic bag. I live in central Ontario. We have enough milkweed so I let ours stay, but when you have a limited supply they can be a pain. Fall is here and the time has come to harvest future plants from your milkweed pods. Hi Gayla, sorry to hear. Hi Kate, you can fall plant milkweed seeds directly, winter sow, or plant in spring: I don’t have any pods my milkweed has been stripped down to just a few leaves at the top! If that’s the case I would wait until fall, winter sow, or plant earlier next spring. Should I try the wet method? First few years we were worried but by year 3 obvious it would be fantastic. good luck! Should I wait until January, or after refrigerating seeds, start them now–ion the fall? If your region doesn’t have a true winter, you can always cold stratify milkweed seeds in your refrigerator: Milkweed being perennial, I assume I can leave mine alone (that first sprouted this year), disregard the pods/seeds and the original plants will sprout again next spring (I’m in Chicago). Prairie planting is not my field of expertise, but there is a link to planting a field for pollinators in this post: What 5 acres that’s a lot of land!!! 4. Save your seeds from the previous year and then start them indoors about eight weeks before your last frost date. Hi Tony, man your a cutie! Check out Asclepias perennis. What do I do next? Common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) is a native herbaceous perennial whose main virtue is its appeal to butterfliesespecially the monarch, which deposits its eggs on the milkweed. Fantastic, I am supplying several households with seeds this year and this will make it so much easier. I have set aside almost 5 acres for a Monarch habitat starting this year. Click. I can’t really emphasize enough why it is of utmost importance to choose only high-quality cannabis seeds.But to put it simply, I’d only sum up the benefits of opting for Hi Susan, I would not spray soap on plants that are currently hosting monarchs, but they should be safe after they are rinsed off with water. Should I be worried about reduced viability? Where are some resources for those of us in Oregon. I am in Northern Illinois btw. Your email address will not be published. Do cut the plant completely back? Leaves are opposite and widely oval but can be narrower. It could be aquatic milkweed. Do you know if this is true and would the plant even produce pods and seeds if proper pollination did not occur? Hi Dick, if they are close to maturity they might be ok for planting. For instance, plants in the milkweed family, Asclepiadaceae, (don't let the name intimidate you), secrete a milky sap (except for Butterfly Milkweed) and opposite or sometimes whorled leaves. When & Where To Plant Milkweed. It sounds like you’re doing the right things. As mentioned, the plants do not like to be moved, so sowing the seeds where you want the plants to grow is the best solution. Five? Any advice as to when to start the little guys? Everyone feel free to contact me with pictures as I am interested in all comments. At least I’ve done my part to try and attract them. Hi Dick, you can reply to her comment and see if she gets back to you. This is you (hopefully) improving Mother Nature’s exterior design plan. good luck! Hi David, you can check out my milkweed resources page to see what will grow perennially in your region: If you are just looking California natives, check this out: I have no pods on my milkweed in Westchester, Ohio. Do you lay them on paper? There are 5 separate sepals (petal-like leaves) and 5 fused petals. If you’re asking yourself, “what does milkweed look like?” and looking for pictures of it, I recommend checking out Monarch Watch’s photo guide. Mark the collecting container with your name, the date, species common name, species botanical name, and the location of the collection. Easiest method I’ve tried so far. Milkweed seeds, like many native plants, need to feel a cold winter before they can germinate. Wash Warning: This one isn’t for milkweed seeds, but for your hands. Here more info on fall planting: Why does the white fluff have to be removed to plant the milkweeds seeds but in nature they are wind sown with the fluff??? I just tried the method for separating the floss in the video and it worked great! The only way to eat milkweed is as a young shoot (under 15 cm). Sometimes the fluff may have already started coming out of a pod you want to collect. If you find yourself with more seeds than you can use, here are a few ideas: Hi Kelly, I keep seeds for about 3 years before replacing them…I’m sure some last longer but I want to insure a high germination rate. Last fall collected 40 milkweed pods. It’s impossible to stop all the predators, but you can always raise a few monarchs indoors to boost their survival rate…from 5% to over 90%. I noticed that the honeyvine pods still had plenty of latex sap in them even tho’ the vines were dead, so I left them alone thinking the seeds *might* continue maturing. In youth, leaves are waxy, pointed and dark green, later dropping from the stem and allowing the milky substance to exude from the growing milkweed. I will be collecting close to 100 pods this fall and I would be happy to donate some to Irene. If you source more seeds/plants to plant this fall or next season, hopefully you’ll be able to collect some next season. I assume they’ll dry out and split eventually and I can look at the seed color, just wondering what to expect. I am hopeful that most butterflies have been able to start their journey from Canada. The corona (circle of petals around the center of the flower) contains 5 hooded forms facing inwards. I harvested and replanted lots of seeds (and gave lots away). Please Post Them Below, Filed Under: Butterfly Garden Ideas, Milkweed Garden Ideas, Milkweed Propagation, Minnesota Garden Ideas, Monarch Butterflies, Plant Propagation Tagged With: harvesting milkweed seeds, remove milkweed seeds, removing milkweed seeds, when to pick milkweed pods. Etc. I was recently made aware that I could harvest and donate some of the seeds for the Midwest region. Fall is upon us and it’s time to harvest your milkweed seeds. Interesting ideas. Milkweed pods are delicious in stew or just served as a boiled vegetable, perhaps with cheese or mixed with other vegetables but be sure you eat only immature pods. This year I am going to try to grow some indoors to transplant in the spring. More info here: We live in Ontario, Canada, about two hours driving time west of Ottawa. I live in Florida. You can also start seeds indoors or sow directly in spring. As I walked through the area yesterday I noticed quite a few birds helping themselves to some of the seed. You could also try winter sowing and then plant all the seedlings next spring. Same with the Cinderella Milkweed I have. I added some info at the end of the post…. 6. I never seem to have monarch caterpillars tho (several others)??? If so, when? My milkweed is doing great but after 2 years I have yet to see a seed pod on any of the 4 I have. What other varieties would you suggest for Southern Ca.? We are not health professionals, medical doctors, nor are we nutritionists. You’ll also get new plants from seeding and some species (like asclepias syriaca) spread by underground rhizomes. Leaves grow from a thick stalk and are large and green, taking on a reddish color as the plant matures. The milkweed that grows is a few feet tall with very light purple flower balls Thank you for your help! The seed is still viable! When do I release them outdoors? I have had good luck with the milk jug method in the past, will try that with these. Then in April this year spread them on about three acre area. I do have assassin bugs and aphids and wondered if they consumed the fluff. I moved it to another area of my yard but he returned to my milkweeds. Will the milk weed grow and survive in that area. If the plants don’t die back, the pods should continue to develop and produce seed….good luck! You can always open pods to see if any hold mature seeds…good luck! Often, you only really need a seed or two, especially if you have a small garden, while a milkweed pod can yield dozens of seeds. Had several caterpillars…Help! 🙂, Live Monarch Foundation 2901 Clint Moore Road, Suite 198 Boca Raton, Florida 33496, http://www.livemonarch.com/free-milkweed-seeds.htm, Thanks for the address. I’ve tried growing seeds outdoors twice, but have had no luck. I have never had moldy milkweed seeds. Unfortunately, any immature seeds collected will not develop further so just harvest and plant (or store) the ones that are fully mature… If you’re interested in starting a garden: Hi Tony, I have six common milkweed that I purchased and planted this past Spring in a large galvanized tub. Hi Vickie, it could be purple milkweed (asclepias purpurascens) but check out 25 species here: Milkweed for North American Butterfly Gardens. Make sure there aren’t any insects or extra plant material in with your seeds. I am happy to hear you will be harvesting milkweed seeds Linda. Hi Judy, if you still have high temps in the 60’s they will be in good shape for release: Late summer I drove around the area looking for common milkweed pods in areas that typically get mowed down. I do have some open space available and it can get below freezing at night occasionally. We were thinking of doing that too – ideally, having them harvest them from the pods and plant them. Help please. How come some plants have pods and others have 3 or more pods? I was wondering, what is the lowest temperature that a chrysalis can withstand? If not, maybe you could harvest, and then let them plant the seeds. They have points at the tips. Some have very thick stems – do we cut those back? Thank you. Monarch Butterfly Garden- Bring Home the Butterflies, Butterfly Garden Ideas and Gardening Tips to Attract Monarchs, Swallowtails, Hummingbirds, and other Precious Pollinators. Just started 36 deep pots of this seed this spring. I’m in zone 6. Hi. When I remembered them about noon, the car was closed up and the inside temp measured about 110°F. You can store milkweed seeds in paper or plastic bags. I love monarchs and will leave them to grow to encourage the butterflies to come. I have pastures full of milkweed…. Hello! I just planted a few A. tuberosa this spring and only had a handful germinate. The seeds are a milk chocolate brown. Hmm no open pods yet either on the raggedy Common in the garden space or the Swamp in our box. Upon examination, I found a large praying mantis. Giant milkweed (Calotropis gigantea, syn. Butterfly Milkweed, also known as “Butterfly Weed” will produce beautiful clusters of orange flowers. For many, milkweed is a beautiful addition to the garden in its own right, producing some of the most complex flowers in the animal kingdom. We have them here in Louisiana as well. Thanks! Hi! Monitor the pods to see when they start splitting open and then cut off the pods to bring indoors. 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